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Exposure to indoor air pollution found to have similar impacts on cells as cigarette smoke

Exposure to indoor air pollution found to have similar impacts on cells as cigarette smoke

A study carried among a group of people in China has shown that breathing in indoor air pollution could have a similar effect on cells as tobacco smoke.

Lung cancer rates in China are particularly high among non-smoking women living in the country’s rural areas who use coal to cook and heat their homes. The study, published in the journal, Carcinogenesis, looked at a group of women in this demographic to see if they could discover a physical reason for this trend.

Scientists studied cells found in the women’s cheeks, and compared the way that they behaved to the same cells of smokers. They discovered that the cells of the women exposed to indoor air pollution had changed in a similar way to those found in smokers.

The researchers state that this finding could provide a physical explanation for the increased risk of lung cancer among these women, and provides further evidence of the negative health impacts of indoor air pollution.

Read the original news story

Read the abstract of the journal article

Find out more about the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign, which is raising awareness of the importance of clean air

The FRESH AIR project

ELF is a partner of FRESH AIR, a Horizon 2020-funded research project focused on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung conditions in Greece, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uganda and Vietnam.

Indoor air pollution from burning fuels for cooking and heating with inadequate ventilation is a major risk factor that the project aims to address, as it is a widespread issue in these countries. 

Visit the FRESH AIR project website to find out more.